Willis H. Ware

1993 Computer Pioneer Award

"For the design of IAS and Johnniac computers"

Willis Ware


Willis H. Ware (Ph.D., Princeton University, 1951) was a senior computer scientist emeritus with the RAND Corporation (1952-present) in Santa Monica, California with which he has held various staff and management positions. An electrical engineer, he has devoted his career to all aspects of computer technology -- hardware, software, architectures, software development, networks, federal agency and military applications, management of computer-intensive projects, public policy and legislation.

In the late 1960s he developed a research interest in the security of computer systems; and shortly thereafter, a corresponding interest in the personal privacy consequences of automated record-keeping systems. For 35 years he has written extensively on both topics, testified before Congress, been a prominent spokesman on the impact of computer technology on society and active professionally as speaker, conferee, and researcher.

His interests have turned to the vulnerabilities of highly automated and computerized information-oriented societies, and the technical and policy aspects of protecting their national information infrastructure.

In the late 1960s he chaired a Federal committee that created the first definitive discussion of computer security and treated it as both a technical matter and a policy issue. In the early 1970s he chaired a cabinet-level "HEW committee" whose report was the foundation for the United States Federal Privacy Act of 1974. Subsequently, President Gerald Ford appointed him to the Privacy Protection Study Commission whose report remains the most extensive examination of private sector record-keeping practices.

Dr. Ware was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. He has received many awards and honors including the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal (1979), the IEEE Centennial Medal (1984), the National Computer System Security Award (1989), and the IEEE Computer Pioneer Award (1993).

He has been the United States representative to IFIP's TC11 Committee on Security and Protection in Information Processing Systems, from 1984-present and was its Vice Chairman 1985-1994. In 1995 he received the IFIP Oustanding Service Award.

He chaired the (U.S.) Computer System Security and Privacy Advisory Board, a statutory body created by the Computer Security Act of 1987; it advises the United States government on societal impacts of computer technology and is involved with both information system security and cryptography.

Dr. Ware passed away on November 22nd, 2013, aged 93 at his home in Santa Monica.  Dr. Ware is survived by two daughters, Deborah and Alison, son David, and their spouses, Edwin Pinson, Thomas Manoli, and Astrid Erling, and granddaughters Arielle and Victoria Manoli.
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